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Blackwater Piquet Chenin Blanc 2017

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Blackwater Piquet Chenin Blanc 2017
Roars with flavour.

Francois Haasbroek has always made wines of particular character and originality under his Blackwater label but he’s now released probably his finest wine to date in the shape of  the Picquet Chenin Blanc 2017 (approximate retail price: R350 a bottle).

Grapes from a vineyard approaching 30 years old near Piketberg in the Swartland, the wine was matured for 10 months in a combination of old 300- and 500-litre barrels. The nose is complex and alluring showing pear, citrus and white peach overlaid with subtle notes of hay, yellow earth and spice while there’s also just a hint of yeasty complexity. The palate has great fruit purity and coated acidity while the finish has some nice phenolic grip thanks to “exceptionally small, thick skinned berries”. It’s remarkably vivid and packed with detail. Alc: 13%.

Editor’s rating: 95/100.

Other wines of note among the current releases include the following:

Blackwater Cuvee Terra Lux Pinot Noir 2015
Approximate retail price: R225
W.O. Elgin. Cranberry and cherry plus a hint of reduction on the nose. Relatively dense on the palate with moderate acidity and fine tannins. Alcohol is 14% as Haasbroek is deliberately trying to avoid too slight a wine and indeed this does have a satisfying weight to it.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

Blackwater Noir 2015
Approximate retail price: R225
90% Syrah, 10% Carignan. Matured for an unusually long 38 months in old 600-litre barrels. Red and black fruit plus a slight and not unpleasant oxidative quality. Rich, broad and very savoury. Layers of flavour and good length.

Editor’s rating: 90/100.

Blackwater Daniel Grenache 2017 rated 90 in the recent Alternative Varieties Report.

Find our South African wine ratings database here.

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